I’m not expert at Photoshop, but this is a pretty blatant attempt to make this smoke from Lebanon seem like much more. Three times more in fact. Of course, the right wing blogosphere will indict the entire Reuters organization for this mess-up and will spend days dissecting this photo. Truth is, you’d need a few people to see this before it went out on the wire, and maybe even less considering how “breaking news” these photos probably are.

Still, whoever did this should be fired. And whoever approved it should be reprimanded because, really, what an incredibly poor decision.

UPDATE: Ynet reports that Reuters has suspended the photographer, and they’ve pulled that picture in favor of the original. See below.

Reuters’ head of PR Moira Whittle said in response: “Reuters has suspended a photographer until investigations are completed into changes made to a photograph showing smoke billowing from buildings following an air strike on Beirut. Reuters takes such matters extremely seriously as it is strictly against company editorial policy to alter pictures.”

“As soon as the allegation came to light, the photograph, filed on Saturday 5 August, was removed from the file and a replacement, showing the same scene, was sent. The explanation for the removal was the improper use of photo-editing software,” she added.

Politics Holy Photoshop Batman!